Technology and Disability - Volume Pre-press, issue Pre-press
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Technology and Disability communicates knowledge about the field of assistive technology devices and services, within the context of the lives of end users - persons with disabilities and their family members. While the topics are technical in nature, the articles are written for broad comprehension despite the reader's education or training.
Technology and Disability's contents cover research and development efforts, education and training programs, service and policy activities and consumer experiences.
The term Technology refers to assistive devices and services.
- The term Disability refers to both permanent and temporary functional limitations experienced by people of any age within any circumstance.
- The term and underscores the editorial commitment to seek for articles which see technology linked to disability as a means to support or compensate the person in daily functioning.
The Editor also attempts to link the themes of technology and disability through the selection of appropriate basic and applied research papers, review articles, case studies, programme descriptions, letters to the Editor and commentaries. Suggestions for thematic issues and proposed manuscripts are welcomed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: “Science Dissemination for Scholars with Disabilities” is a noteworthy topic which is still sparse and needs more attention by the scientific community. OBJECTIVE: In order to increase interest in the study of science and on access to research without exclusion emphasis needs to be paid towards innovation within a scientific environment. Our hope is to encourage further consideration by the scientific community and present strategies that promote the full inclusion of scholars with disabilities in society. METHODS: This work is the result of research experiences in the field of Science and…Inclusion within the activities carried out at the ICTP Scientific Fabrication Laboratory of Trieste, in Italy, over the last eight years. Description of some issues on the use of open source digital technologies available at Scientific FabLabs to support education and scientific know-how for all are assessed, and a collection of interesting novel approaches developed in our SciFabLab are given as examples. The discussion is presented to motivate further research and give technological priorities. RESULTS: We discuss and show concrete examples on how to make “almost anything ” through Scientific FabLabs to disseminate science and remove practical barriers offering people with disabilities more independence and opportunities to study science. Standard theories of Disability in the STEM context are also discussed. CONCLUSIONS : This contribution is relevant from the point of view of the social model in that supportive digital tools developed at Scientific FabLabs can be manufactured with participation, assistance and presence by people with a disability. Through this class of Fablabs, we aim to sustain new generations of scientists without any exclusion.
Keywords: Accessible science education, theory of disability, inclusion, science dissemination developing countries, fablab
Abstract: BACKGROUND: While digital technology has helped in various aspects as learning, social communication and entertainment, it poses substantial risk for young children. Amongst the various effects, excessive screen time has been identified as a risk for autism. OBJECTIVES: Against the background of increasing use of digital devices and lack of data on parental involvement, the present study aimed to investigate the parental knowledge, attitudes and concerns towards Media Technology And Screen time (MeTS) use by preschool children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Typically Developing (TD) children in Indian context. METHODS: 182 parents…of children with ASD (n = 90) and TD (n = 92) participated in a survey to answer various closed and open-ended questions related to device usage, knowledge, attitude and concerns related to children’s use of MeTS using the google forms. Responses from the survey were descriptively analyzed and compared between groups using chi-square test and qualitative thematic analysis methods. RESULTS: Results of our study revealed that children with ASD were exposed to MeTS from an earlier age, while average exposure to MeTS was significantly higher in TD children. Parents of children from the two groups showed good and comparable knowledge about the effects of MeTS and reported using various methods to monitor its use in children. Further, the parents showed concerns and possessed mixed attitude towards MeTS use in their children.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: On-screen keyboard controlled by gaze is the most useful approach to help people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) communicate. However, the design of the traditional on-screen keyboard hinders gaze typing for languages other than English. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is developing a specialized on-screen keyboard controlled by gaze for Vietnamese people with ALS. METHODS: Designed on-screen keyboard layouts and selection mechanism based on the requirements of eye typing and Vietnamese language characteristics from the statistics results on the Vietnamese Wikipedia Corpus dataset. During the experiment, we also absorbed and modified…some design features according to the users’ suggestions. RESULTS: The authors proposed two new specialized on-screen keyboard layouts controlled by eye gaze for the Vietnamese language which both speed up typing and reduce typos. The results of the experiment are an average typing speed of respectively 23.1 and 26.1 characters per minute, and an average error rate of 10% and 0.5% for the two layouts. All participants were satisfied when using the system at their house. CONCLUSIONS: Although the effectiveness of the proposed method depends on the time of use and the familiarity of users with the new keyboard, the potential of the proposed method is great.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Thousands of United Arab Emirates (UAE) citizens are living with physical challenge that render them incapable of performing routine activities the rest of us take for granted. OBJECTIVE: This paper investigated utilization of currently available and emerging assistive technologies, and examined the level of awareness of such technologies among the physically challenged population in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Knowing the level of awareness and usage of assistive technologies can phase the way for governments, and other stakeholders to develop effective policies that are capable of improving the lives of the physically challenged population.…METHODS: This research conducted a survey of a total of 50 participants (30 females and 20 males) with varieties of physical disabilities. The data collected from the survey participants were tallied by counting the number of participants’ response to series of simple Yes/No questions. RESULTS: Results have shown that only 40% are currently using assistive technologies; with 61.2% being aware of existing assistive technologies. The most identified currently available assistive technologies among survey participants are the wheelchair and transportation vans, and the least identified emerging technologies are systems that respond to head nod. With regards to the newly emerging technologies, only 10% of participants are aware of them, with (70%) willing to use the newly emerging technologies if made available. Also, 60% of the participants benefit from government assistance, and 40% from both philanthropic and family support. With regards to employability, only 2% are fully employed. CONCLUSIONS: The overall low-level of awareness of (both currently available and emerging assistive technologies) observed is an indication of the need for substantial work that needs to be done towards creating an effective awareness program capable of increasing the overall utilization of assistive technologies.